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Aviva faces court claim over unpaid commission


An adviser has issued a County Court Summons against Aviva over commission from a Friends Life personal pension he claims is owed to him.

Barrett Financial Solutions managing director Kim Barrett is taking the provider to the small claims court because he is owed £415 in commission.

He is also claiming for time spent trying to resolve this problem, and interest on the balance owed.

Barrett says: “I have contacted the legal department, the complaints department and the chief executive but have been variously ignored or fobbed off with excuses about computer problems.”

He adds: “Although we have moved towards fees, older commission payments are still the lifeblood of our industry. I’ve been an IFA for 28 years and have had problems with payments before. Friends Life clearly have some problems with their computer system but it shouldn’t take four months to sort out.”

An Aviva spokesman says: “We are aware of the court process initiated by Mr Barrett and we are now looking into the details of his claim.”

Aviva agreed to buy Friends Life at the end of 2014, and the merger was completed in April 2015.



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There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. So Aviva have to get taken to court before ‘looking into details of his claim’!!!

  2. Julian Stevens 22nd July 2016 at 9:44 am

    Almost as soon as I/we set up shop in the mid-90’s, there was the usual flurry of calls from broker consultants seeking to get a foot in our door for business. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I’d stipulated that before we would even consider using any of those companies, we’d require from them an unequivocal written undertaking that once a contract had been written on an agreed scale of commission for both initial, trail and increments, the provider in question would never change that scale without our specific agreement. Trouble is (I strongly suspect), not one of the companies in question would have been prepared to provide such an undertaking and we’d have been unable to write any business other than on a fee basis. So what happened was that those companies gladly accepted as much business as they could get out of us but then subsequently moved the goalposts without so much as giving us any prior notice, let alone asking us. Come April 2001, they just unilaterally stakeholdered overnight all the PP’s we’d written with them to date, thereby rendering them all completely profitless, for which I shall never forgive them and, as a result, I’ve not since used any of them. My transition to restricted status was inevitable.

    At least CAR has removed the ability of the life companies to betray us in such a way ever again and they’ve all scrambled to reinvent themselves as platform providers, with varying degrees of success, or simply closed to new business. For its part, the regulator has prohibited switching from an old contract to a new one primarily to facilitate integrated adviser charging, even though most clients would have no objections to the logic of such a transition. Why should they? It needn’t have been this way.

  3. I took on The Hartford back in 2010, and won the case (which wasn’t as straightforward as Kim Barrett’s seems to be) and the best of luck to him. More IFAs should take the big companies to court because some of them treat us like dirt and expect to get away with it. If they cause a huge delay for the customer, which we may take hours sorting out, it is unfair for us to bill the customer for it, which is what the company would have us do. Invoice the company instead.

  4. Friends Life have lost the plot when it comes to GPP commissions, and service in general. Every scheme that we run is in dispute at present and every time they come back with unsubstantiated claims, we simply point out a few facts (backed up by their statements) and sit back and wait a few months for the next poorly thought through response.

    Standard response times are measured in weeks and invariably only part of the requested information comes back. Having recently notified them of a death on a jointly held bond and asked them to update records and provide a valuation for probate at the date of death (yes, I did spell it out), they have kindly provided an up to date statement.

    We recently asked them to urgently investigate a £26k pension contribution debited from an employers account where the employer believed they hadn’t authorised it, only to be told that it would take 15 working days before they could look at it.

    Finally a senior manager made an appointment to call me to discuss all the issues and try and provide some reassurance. Waited for the call at the agreed time – never happened.

  5. Is this really about commission?.

    Sounds like he had to progress information which was delayed due to the migration earlier this year.

    Without knowing how he arrived at the figure how he arrived at the amount claimed.

  6. Melanie Prendiville 23rd July 2016 at 11:44 am

    I worked in the Life Insurance – Pensions and Mortgage Industry all my life – I am shocked and
    Fed up with the way L&G – Phoenix and the new monster Cigna who took over Sun Alliance from
    First Assist get away with not paying out on claims – The FCA should not allow the taking over
    of the smaller companies by the greedy big firms – they take over all the life portfolios and then
    cut the cover down to minimum on reviews and increase premiums tenfold – I have lost
    approx. £56,000 in premiums and have no Life cover between 1995 and 2016!! Don’t buy policies – I was conned because I worked in the Industry and trusted them with the Innovative Marketing
    that was very convincing when I was trained to sell the products!!!

  7. Just bill the companies, I use a data base on a daily basis to record all contact, amazing how when you contact a provider and offer to send them a report of time spent and cost,they rarely argue.
    I recently requested information a pension from a Scottish provider who stated 5 working days, figures did not arrive, I called again to be told, In the post 1st class today (Friday) nothing at the office on Saturday or Monday, called Tuesday to be told would be out immediately, following Monday nothing called and complained, received a call back the same day, told them I had wasted 2 hours in calls and details all the calls and to whom over the phone , the said they could only pay £150 per hour, which I accepted a cheque arrived on the Thursday and 3 copies of the paperwork I had requested arrived on the Friday !
    Bill them with good records

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